Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Mixed Bag

A child of the 70’s, Lacoste’s designer, Christophe Lemaire, admitted to having been inspired by the classic films of Eric Rohmer ( ‘Conte d’Automne,’ ‘Conte d’Hiver’, and ‘Pauline a la Plage,’) as well as Claude Sautet’s ‘Cesar et Rosalie’ for fall/winter 2007. The quintessentially French sporty chic collection for both men and women, (which had at its heart, the idea of traditional French weekend escapes) was filled with refreshingly wearable and timelessly appearing pieces. The mainly neutral palette of typically fall shades (the runway was filled with ‘falling leaves’ as if to hone in the point), translated into fairly androgynous skinny jeans, corduroys, well tailored jackets, trench coats, shearlings, cropped pea coats, shawl collared cardigans, and stripes, stripes, and more stripes. It looked appealingly un-fashion-y and real lifelike. The accessory statement consisted of oversized totes, suitcase shaped weekend bags, and great boots which the skinny jeans were tucked into. I especially liked the Bordeaux patent short hooded coat and matching retro cool canvas and patent midcalf boot on a rubber wedge sole.

I really didn’t know what to expect from Maticevski, since I had never attended one of Toni Maticevski’s shows before. But I was pleasantly surprised. The Australian designer’s 35 piece collection was well executed and filled with some interesting ideas (new takes on old ideas actually), in addition to some wonderful bias cut cocktail dresses, beautifully cut jackets, fitted suits with pencil skirts. Colors were predominantly neutral: shades of gray, black, and ivory, which were enlivened with hits of yellow, peach, coral, and lavender; the latter of which came in the form of puffer jackets, padded silk padded ballgowns, evening dresses, and evening coats…there was even a mini puffy cocktail dress. And while puffers are not new, Maticevski gave them new life. And considering the freezing temperatures outside, these pieces looked especially inviting and cool. One in particular, featuring a yellow floor length coat belted over a floor length skirt and worn with a white silk undershirt, looked especially good.

What was up with the Alice Roi show? First, getting inside the venue at Bryant Park was like getting into Fort Knox. We were made to wait in groups to pass through at least three different security check points at which point we had to wait and then we were allowed to the next level. Once inside, the show started almost 40 minutes late. At least reading the show program provided some entertainment (amusing and quirky descriptions such as ‘night sweats’ t shirt, ‘concomitant’ black and cream knit dress, ‘broken thoughts’ calico sweater with black wool ‘infirmary’ blanket skirt, etc.).

And it’s hard to be grumpy while listening to the cool music of Steely Dan which played in the background. But while there were some sweet little dresses (notably a black paneled peter pan collar dress with an a line shape), a perfectly nice black ‘Madeline’ lace and wool short toggle coat paired with mohair leggings, a fuzzy camel shrunken blazer worn with gray sport inspired pants, and some fringe trim separates, the collection was not as cohesive or as well conceived as last season’s.

In the meanwhile…we all know that the fashion off the runway could be as interesting (or more so) than the clothes being presented on the runway. What are people wearing to the shows? Let’s just say that while the week has not really gotten underway yet, from my observations, it’s a complete mixed bag (no surprise there). I have spotted lots of red, especially on Friday, which was National Wear Red Day. The color always stands out in a crowd, that’s for sure. I even saw one woman in a red coat and matching dyed red fur hat. I think she had red hair as well…I have also noticed classic plaids, checks, and tweeds; plus pants, jeans, and leggings tucked into boots in every conceivable form. Vintage inspired furs, from shrugs and stoles to leather and fur coats are an obvious choice for hitting the shows. But the big accessory seems to be the hat, whether in fur or done in a patterned knit. Knitted fur caps with earflaps have been seen on both men and women and considering the cold temperatures on the horizon, undoubtedly, warm and toasty headgear will be de rigueur if one wants to get through the week.

-Marilyn Kirschner

Other Shows:

Alexandre Herchcovitch

I always anticipate something fresh and unique from Alexandre Herchcovitch and his Fall 2007 collection did not disappoint. The designer presented an eclectic mix of soft, lightweight print dresses, jumpsuits, cropped jackets, and even the occasional unconstructed dress or top that reminded one of a garbage bag.

Adorable straw hats accented the outfits, only a few of which appeared to be made of cold weather weight fabrics, like the plaid coat in a winning combination of brown and turquoise. This color theme, along with black, was carried throughout the collection, the rare exception being a floral top or white jacket that was added to the mix.

Once again, with his take on Fall 2007, Alexandre Herchcovitch has proven himself to be full of delightful surprises.

Rock and Republic

Skin tight pants, body hugging dresses, lots of bare skin, gold, silver, and sparkles everywhere. It had to be the Rock and Republic Fall 2007 presentation held Saturday might at Cipriani’s 42nd Street location. There was not a traditional piece of clothing in sight: a pullover sweater was printed with a snake pattern, wrap dresses plunged to the waist, classic black pumps sparkled with crystal accents and the capacity crowd loved every minute of it.

In keeping with this season’s theme, Sexy Beast, the venue was transformed into a dark jungle-like arena as spectators sat on padded bleacher seats and models strutted to a hard driving rock beat. Once again members of the press and invited guests alike were treated to cocktails and hors d’ouevres at what had to be the best runway party in town.

-Rhonda Erb

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